Monday, November 28, 2011


Talofa! (That's hello in Samoan)
It is been a glorious week in Independence! We are emailing a little late this morning due to the fact that we saw a miracle! We always do laundry before coming and emailing. Today, there was this man talking on his cell phone and I remember thinking that we needed to talk to him. It was very discret but it was the spirit. I finished loading my laundry into the dryer, sat down with Sister Blackham and we started reading from the Strength of Youth. I said a prayer in my heart, asking Heavenly Father to bring him to us. Not even 10 minutes later, he walks up to us, stares at my badge, and asks, "Are you from the Mormon church?" I cheerfully replied, "yes, yes we are!" Turns out, he's seen missionaries at the laundry mat for weeks now. He's talked to our district leader and one of our sisters at the VC and said that the Elders wanted to come over and teach him but he's been so busy. We taught him a little about church and the peace from Christ's gospel. Invited him to the VC, and he accepted. Bam, new investigator on P-day. Heavenly Father heard my prayer. That is what I find so incredible. Brothers and sisters, all we need to do for opportunities to share the gospel is to pray. He will bless us, and in return we are able to bless others' lives. The gospel is true!
So, good morning. Thanksgiving was great. The VC was open until 4 pm on Thursday and yeah, Thanksgiving week has actually been the busiest week for a while. Everyone is in town with families and they want a spiritual upliftment. We had two dinners... and I'm still full. It was 70* on Thanksgiving day. Today it is 40*, and the high is maybe 44 I think. I've just had a really good week. We've made some changes in the way we are spending our time and slowly but surely we're seeing fruits. We've wanted to get the ward mroe involved for a while, so we're focusing on getting to know the ward ASAP and asking them for referrals and inviting them to share the gospel with their friends and neighbors. They are awesome.
I've made the decision that I want to get married in the Salt Lake City Temple. This may come to some of you as a shock... and I really don't actually know where, when, and if that day will come. But we did watch a movie called "Mountain of the Lord" about the saints building the SLC temple. The sacrifice that went into the temple just hit home, not to mention we have pioneers ancestors. Sacrifice makes things sacred, and that temple symbolizes that. I'm learning that prayer is the key to everything. When our relationship with our Father in Heaven is strong, everything else falls into it's proper place. I'm a witness to that. A man stands his standest when he is on his knees.
We had a great district meeting last week. Our District Leader, Elder Masters, is such a stellar Elder. He's on his 4th transfer and is already a DL and training. Plus, he's always supporting his district and always has new ideas to further the work. At DM, he led us into the gym at the stake center and put 2 companionships on one side and the other 2 on the opposite side. He said that 2 of the companionships were to street contact these volunteers that he was about to go get and then teach to their needs and invite them to church. Ok, awesome. I got paired with Sister Nelson and as we waited we suddenly see Elder Masters and his trainee walk in in jeans, sunglasses, and Guns & Roses T-shirt. Uh.... we get up and go do what we're asked. The spirit was there that day. I felt the spirit work through me as I asked questions, loved this child of God, and invited him to repent. I can't even fathom the miracles that happen to us as missionaries. I wish I could describe how incredible this is to you all. After this experience, we gathered in the chapel. Elder Masters read from John 13 and 14. As he was describing that, my eye caught hold of a verse. John 14:18 - "I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you." This life brings challenges in so many shapes and sizes. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only element that will destroy the hatred that exists among people. Here is the promise. He loves us.
The day just got better. President and Sister Keyes came in with 18 of the family members from Utah. I got to take them on tour. I was so spiritually drained on Friday, my eyes are still bloodshot. It was awesome! On Saturday, the VC had a Lighting Ceremony to kick off the Christmas season. Sister Keyes came up to me and said, "My granddaughter got home last night and announced, 'I've decided that I want to go on a mission! I want to be just like Sister Moore!'" My heart just melted. That girl was 13. I know my efforts aren't in vain.
A lot of other things have been happening and the blessings are here. A new Assistant to the President will be called tomorrow as Elder Lesuma is going home, and then December 8th is transfers, again. I feel like we JUST did those. So many changes happening... so many new sisters coming into the VC... I'm excited!
I love my Savior. I'm starting to understand the Atonement. I'm starting to realize the blessings. I'm starting to realize there is still SO much to learn and experience. That's why we're not supposed to be idle; we're missing out on blessings! I have a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It is here in it's fulness to give us a pathway home to Heavenly Father. The peace and joy from the Spirit is real. The authority is real. It's here for us. Joseph Smith truly was God's chosen prophet to restore the gospel. Open your hearts to receive these blessings! Help the missionaries wherever you are. Invite your friends to church. To Acitivities. To see the church building on a church tour. To read the Book of Mormon. To do family history work. To go to the VC. To pray. The missionaries are great tools for you to use. How great your joy shall be...
I love you all. Thank you for your support and love. I pray for you every day and am grateful that you have given me an opportunity to experience this. I can't believe I almost didn't come... Jesus Christ is my Savior. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is his church. And I am his servant. Shall we not go on in so great a cause?
Sister Moore
P.S. The pictures are random. Mostly of Sisters Blackham, Nelson, & Rupper at the VC.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Last Monday after P-day we went to a RC/PMF's home. They are also 2 of our ward missionaries, and probably my favorite family in the ward. We were supposed to go rake their leaves and them jump in them, right? We show up at 6, decked out in our attractive service clothes, and the yard is clear with a huge piles of leaves off to the side of the house. I was so angry! but, we made the most of it anyway. We tried to be thugs in the picture. That is their daughter with us on the right. She's been investigating. And that is us in the leaves. You know, I don't think I've ever jumped in a pile of leaves in my life. I told them that and they looked apalled. Oregon has a lot of evergreen trees...
The VC has also been decorating for Christmas. On Saturday, there is a huge lighting ceremony to where President Keyes is going to speak and all of the lights they've been working on outside and inside will be turned on. It sort of sounds like the lighting ceremony they do at Temple Square the Friday after Thanksgiving. I'll get pictures to the best of my little dying camera's abilities. One of the sisters here had this new hair style that she's seen and wanted to try it out. I offered my head. It's called "waterfall" or something like that. Way cool eh? It wraps all the day around my head. The rest of the pictures are of us decorating the center. I had to hug the tree... I might have already written home about this, but out in Odessa, our zone leaders called me up one night and asked if I believed in burning plastic. I voiced my opinion and to this day they still tease me when I ask, "what's going on?" They reply every time,"oh, we're just burning some plastic". I love them, but they have another thing coming to them. ;) So here's my tree-hugging picture.
I'm happy! I've been busy working on things for this Stake Christmas dinner that all the missionaries have been invited to in the Independence zone. It's the night right before transfers in a couple weeks. We're singing a version of The First Noel, and then another sister and myself re-wrote The 12 Days of Christmas and made it missionary themed. We have divided the zone into the 12 days and each day has a skit to go along with it. For example, day 4 it sings, "On the 4th day of Christmas, my mother sent to me, 4 winter scarves". We'll have 2 sisters: one with a scarf wrapped around her head with the other sister dragging her down the floor. Sort of like a leash. Hmm... sound familiar, Claridge family?  It'll be fun. I'm working with the Elders on it today... teaching them to sing. I never thought I'd be doing that. I can't teach people to sing... I never learned! I'll do my best to get a recording and whatnot of it. Speaking of which, what are these things I hear of some performance Sam did, and then a Mr. Roboto performance? Guys... you've got to let me in on this. I need to hear these things!
I feel like these emails are getting shorter and shorter so I must apologize. At the VC, I really don't have time for anything. But I am creating memories. And writing them down here in Missouri. I love it here. The holidays without the family will be different, but these things too shall come to pass. I am a servant of the Lord. I have a work to do. I have just little time left to learn these things.  Oh, before I forget. The missioanry department came out last week, right? I talked to one of the brethren and Portland came up. The Portland Visitors' Center (right next to the temple) is going to be up and running in January!!! I don't know if that is out yet, but the VC is a place where the spirit resides. It is a sacred place to come and learn. I urge you, brothers and sisters, to prepare yourself to invite a friend to the VC and help them see how beautiful the gospel is. It's such a blessing to have one so close. You can bet that I'll be there when I'm home.
Thank you, everyone, for your support and love. I have and will not forget about you and I know that you are well, for the Lord is with us. Shall we not go on in so great a cause?
Sister Moore

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ok. So. Inbox was full this morning and I loved every moment of it. However, I hear that a couple of you have crashed your vehicles and I'm not very happy about that. More in the fact that you could've been hurt. I am grateful that you are okay.
Things here have been crazy. I don't have any down time. Even with the VC being so slow this time of the year, we have chat, studies, paper work, serving, building relationships, and so much more.
We had a slower week as far as investigators go, as a lot of appointments fell through and our investigators keep dropping us. However, we are not discouraged. In fact, I have more of a fire to go out and find than ever before. I've been learning from the examples around us and from study that we have such a short amount of time. We can't waste our time of people who may listen, but don't have a desire to change. That is not our purpose. And so, this week we are focusing on finding solid investigators. It's so hard with the time constraints of serving in the VC, but it just makes it all the more rewarding to when we do see fruits of our labors. I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve. I hear from home a lot and they are so supportive to what I am doing day in and day out. The support and love I receive from them is what motivates me. That, and knowing that the Lord needs me. I am needed. And that is where my loyalty lies.
The missionary department came out to the mission last week. To train missionaries, they go to the MTC for 3+ weeks, I had a week of VC training, and then are shipped out. Mission presidents have a Preach My Gospel tutor for 3 months on the phone, go to the MTC and are trained by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for a week or so, and then are shipped out. They are out in the field for 3-4 months, and then Salt Lake comes out to answer any questions he may have, since he wouldn't have them before - no experience, you know? And SO MUCH is changing. There are 2 districts at the VC right now. 3 wards have sisters and elders in them; 1 has the Assistants, and 2 have the 2 district leaders and their companions. There are also 2 sister leaders, one for each district. Probably next transfer, they are creating 4 districts in the Independence Zone. That means they will have to add 2 more sets of Elders to the Zone and call 4 sister leaders, for the 2 we have now are going home this transfer. No more accountability with the zone leaders. Plus, with 7 VC sisters coming in, they will all have to be put in the centers in December for training. Things are just crazy and changing in flashes of lightning it seems. However overwhelming they may seem at this time, I trust my mission president. Sister Nelson shared a quote with the VC sisters during a training about a missionary who served in Brazil and was able to baptize every weekend for 52 consecutive weeks. When he was through with his mission, he had his final interview with the mission president where he was asked what his secret to his success was. The elder replied, "I did not doubt you, President. You've told us that we can baptize every week, and I believed you". I have faith in him. 
For a while, the missionaries in this ward weren't being fed every night. So, yesterday at church I took things into my own hands. I'm proud to say that Sister Blackham and I have a meal every night this week. However, I may or may not have forgotten to pass the Elders' calendar around with me... they thought that was funny. I did, too. They are good Elders.
The ward had a couple baptisms last week and one of them was able to be confirmed I folded my arms and bowed my head as they began the confirmation. Then suddenly, my eyes are wide open and I'm reaching in my backpack for something to write with. This young man who was being baptized, about 16 years old, was the only one from his family there. I remember after I was confirmed that Kimberly wrote down my blessing and I was so grateful for that. I did the same for him. He's a really neat kid and will go far. Afterwards, Sister Blackham looks at me with that tone saying, "What are you doing?!" Haha, I'm unpredictable, what can I say? :) AND, to make church even more awesome, a family from the Odessa ward walked in. One of the ones I was really close to. They had family in the 4th ward and were blessing a baby. What a tender mercy.
A few pictures. 444 is Sister Blackham. She's cute, eh? The other morning, one of the maintenance brothers asked if we wanted to go up on his machine... I can't remember what it's called. Anyway, before the VC opened we took turns going up. I don't know if this is sacrilegious, but it was fun. Also, I received a letter from Sister Hawkes (LOVE) and I found the word "Pants" written in the envelope. TOO FUNNY. I guess it's only funny if you know the inside joke. Ha, I just love her. And, the only picture I have of my new boots. That one is more for Mom. But I love them! I feel like a country sister in them.
Still loving my mission. I am at a point where I don't worry about home anymore. I know things are very well. I always knew home was okay, but I continue to have a fire burning within me that gets bigger and bigger the longer I am out here. I love this gospel. I love this church. I love the things I'm learning. Jesus is the Christ. What more do we need? Shall we not go on in so great a cause?
Thank you everyone for your support. I love you.
Sister Moore

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7

Hola, como estas?
I can't speak spanish... I'll quit while I'm ahead.
Things are grand! I'm grateful to be back at the VC. I loved full pros, but I feel more production here in the VC. Although the tours are few and far between, I have my calling on the music committee and chat to keep us busy. Chat on is amazing by the way.
We committed one of our investigators with a baptismal date. She's too funny... she's this awesome black woman who really wants to be baptized by God's authority.. awesome. Well, she won't get baptized until Christ's birthday (she's referring to December 25... I don't think I'll tell her that it's in April :) or the 1st of the year. The Elders in our ward had a baptism last night and she came! With her daughter who had been taught by missionaries back in 2005! Awesome.  We found this new investigator the other day and have taught him a few times this week. He's a single man and we believe the rule in this zone is that if there are elders in your ward, they are to teach single men, and we are to teach single women. We had a lesson with him and them and it went well. Awesome guy. However, since the elders in 4th ward are the Assistants, they are busy. We might get to teach him with appropriate team ups... which I'm secretly hoping for. Shh... dont' tell.
Sister Blackham is so cute... oh my goodness. We came home last night and even with an extra hour of sleep, I konked out after planning on the couch. Missionaries are supposed to sleep in the same room as their companion. So I woke up 30 minutes later and find Sister Blackham dragging her mattress into the living room so that she could be obedient and not have to wake me up. I LOVE MY COMPANION. She's so cute, and just full of unconditional love. Sometimes I feel like I'm not worthy.
Next transfer is December 8, and we got exciting news that Sister Jones might be coming back! She had to go home for surgery, but she's made the decision to come back out and we are all so excited for that! On top of that, there are 7 new VC sisters coming in. Now, when the Van Komen's were running the mission, they didn't give any preference to sisters called full pros vs. VC. The Keyes' are honoring those calls. Salt Lake wants them to place all VC-called sisters in the centers for their first transfer. Well... with Liberty Jail and the VC, there are 11 companionships. 7 of those 11 companionships should be training over the winter at the centers. It's going to be crazy!! And, both of the VC sister leaders are leaving in December. They have to call another VC sister leader sometime this transfer so that the leaders can train her. Transfers are getting sticky over here, but it's way exciting. We keep getting so many missionaries and we need them! About 25% of the mission is younger than 3 months in the field. We have a young mission right now. Yet we still progress. Only the best are called to serve in the MIM! :)
So, all is well. I feel great about being here. I'm growing in ways I didn't know I could, and I can feel the spirit guiding me 24/7. I've been striving for that, and as we work and serve with all our heart, might, mind, and strength, and are perfectly obedient, we will receive those righteous blessings that we desire. That's something we've been studying, too. I can't remember if I'm repeating myself from previous weeks, but I've been studying a lot about choice and agency lately. Especially out of 2 Nephi 2:27:
Wherefore, men are afree according to the bflesh; and call things are dgiven them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to echoose fliberty and eternal glife, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be hmiserable like unto himself.

We can choose freedom, or captivity. Did you realize that obedience to God's commandments makes you free? I promise you that these things are true, for the spirit has witnessed it unto me.
The gospel has been restored. It is true. We have been blessed with a prophet of God and another witness that Christ lives. Faith can move mountains, and hope endures all. My mission is one of the most sacred experiences of my life. Thank you for allowing me to share this with you and for the support you give to me each and every day. From the depths of my heart, thank you.
Shall we not go on in so great a cause?
Love always,
Sister Moore